Rajasthan Budget: Govt scraps taxes on work-books, biogas; spices to get costlier

Written by PTI | Jaipur | Updated: Jul 15 2014, 00:26am hrs
Vasundhara RajeRajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje during the Budget presentation in the State Assembly in Jaipur. PTI
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today proposed scrapping tax on work-book, biogas, 'reetha and shikakai' and takeaway cooked food from restaurants, reduced VAT on oilseeds but increased taxes on raw spices, textile furnishings in state Budget for 2014-15.

She proposed a revision of tax regime to earn Rs 350 crore revenues. Raje, who is also holding the Finance portfolio, announced in the state Legislative Assembly here a total plan outlay of Rs 69,820 crore for 2014-15 compared to Rs 40,500 crore of 2013-14, an increase of 72 per cent.

Presenting a Revenue surplus Budget for the current fiscal, Raje said the estimated fiscal deficit would be Rs 20,186 crore in 2014-15 which is 3.52 per cent of GSDP.

The estimated budgetary deficit would be Rs 3,151 crore for this fiscal, she said.

In a series of tax relaxations or rebates to the tune of Rs 150 crore to people, Raje proposed no tax on work-books, biogas, 'reetha and shikakai' and takeaway cooked food from restaurants.

Also, VAT on oilseeds has been reduced from 5 per cent to 3 per cent and on desert cooler and room coolers' body to 5 per cent from 14 per cent earlier.

There was a range of VAT on sale of used motor vehicles from Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000, now there would be one 2.5 per cent VAT on Used Motor Vehicles, Raje said.

She proposed a composition scheme for builders and devlopers, reduction in VAT on ATF (air turbine fuel) from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for developing air service hub on the inter-state circuit.

Tyre and tube produced by vehicle producers, and the raw material used in wind mill manufacturing has been exempted from entry tax, she said.

Paying guest house and heritage hotels approved by Tourism Department have been exempted from luxury tax, the hertitage hotels' luxury tax during off-season has been reduced to 50 per cent, the Chief Minister said.

Tax regime on stamp and registration of land matters, marriage garden, farm house, resorts, and reconstruction have also been relaxed in the budget proposals, she said.

Under a new VAT regime to earn revenues to the tune of Rs 350 crore, Raje said 'Saboot Masale' (raw spices), handicraft above Rs 1,000, textile furnishing, textile suitings and shirting above Rs 500 metre would bear 5 per cent VAT.

VAT on marble stone would be based on its weight and size, UPS' battery and invertor would be costlier with 14 per cent VAT, and 10 per cent entertainment tax on DTH, cable TV and video game parlours from August 1, 2014, she said.

The Chief Minister also proposed 30 per cent entertainment entertainment tax on cinemas and multiplexes, while cinema halls in villages having population of up to 1 lakh have been exempted from entertaiment tax.

There would be a 5 per cent entry tax on LNG, industrial fuels, light diesel oil and 10 per cent luxury tax on heritage grand hotels, she said.

Raje also proposed one time tax on 200cc motor cycle, middle class cars, and green tax on diesel run cars and SUVs.

On late payment of VAT the state proposed a fine of Rs 12 percent on compound interest basis, and cess tax on infrastrucutre development, she said.

For improving the indirect tax system, Raje said her government also wanted to bring GST (Goods and Services Tax) for better coordination of centre-state tax relations, she said.

Taking Tax and revenue collection on hi-fi and e-governance mode, Raje said all assessment of taxes would be online from April 1, 2015, she said.

Raje announced to set up a GST Consultation Committee to formulate GST policy in consultation with the Central government and abolition of Tax Settlement Board to reduce tax litigation cases.

For realy segment, Raje proposed a fresh stamp duty range on sale of apartments in multiplexes from 2 to 4 per cent.

The state would introduce e-stamp availability to save paper stamps, and provide training to vendors in 91 independent deputy-registrar offices, she said.

The land rate revision by District Level Committee (DLC) would automatically revised at the rate of 10 per cent annually if it is not examined by the Urban Development agencies, she said.

On bordering towns, a Rajathan Drinking Water Grid would be set up, and 5000 RO water purifier would be set up in villages under safe drinking water mission, she said.

A sum of Rs 289 crore would be provided for 12 drinking water projects, and water charges would be made logical, she said.

Rajasthan to set up joint venture with GAIL for CNG supply

Vasundhara Raje said her govt would set up a joint venture with GAIL India Ltd for city gas (CNG) distribution in selected cities in the state.

Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation would be strengthen through the joint venture with the GAIL India Ltd for supply of CNG, Raje told the House during her Budget:2014-15 speech here.

In first phase for supply of CNG through GAIL, One mother station would be set up in Neemrana, and a daughter station in Jaipur, she said.

On petroleum and mineral areas, she said the state would encourage zero waste mining by reducing pollution, a new policy of mining would be prepared soon, and the Rajasthan Minor Mineral Concession Rules would be amended, she said.

The state government would also invite investment in tirbal area mining to benefit the tribals, she said.

For cattle conservation, research and development a new department of 'Gopalan' would be created in the state, she said.

A mobile veternary service would be launched in Tonk district, and 2,000 Integrated livestock development Centres would be set up with a grant of Rs 5 crore in the current fiscal year, she said.

A nature park at a cost of Rs 1.73 crore would be set up in Churu, she said.

7 new medical colleges to come up in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today said seven new medical colleges, with 100 seats each, will be set up in the state.

The colleges will be set up at Bharatpur, Alwar, Churu, Dungarpur, Barmer, Pali and Bhilwara districts with an allocation of Rs 189 crore each, Raje said while delivering her Budget speech.

The Chief Minister also proposed establishing tertiary cancer care centres in Bikaner and Jhalawar districts at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore each for the research and treatment of the disease.

The Chief Minister also announced new super-speciality wings in Bikaner, Udaipur and Kota Medical Colleges at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore each.

To integrate skill development in UG and PG level courses, the CM proposed a 'skill university' on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

She made a provision of Rs 4.88 crore each for the strengthening of Rajrishi Bhrathari University and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay University and Rs 2 crore for Maharaja Surajmal Brij University.

The CM announced start of 15 new colleges by restructuring faculties in the existing colleges.

Other announcements for improving the education infrastructure in the state include three new engineering colleges on self-financing scheme, construction of buildings for 940 primary schools, construction of additional 2,609 classrooms, 678 toilets for girls and drinking water facilities in 155 schools. Also, two block-level teachers training schools will be constructed in Hanumangarh and Dungarpur districts.

Delivering the Budget speech, Raje spoke for over 2 hours and 15 minutes without taking any break.

Rajasthan govt to renegotiate Barmer refinery proj with HPCL

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced renegotiate the oil refinery-cum-petrochemical complex project with HPCL started by the former government in Barmer district as the state share was just 26 per cent despite offering free infrastructure facilities.

Raje in her Budget speech for 2014-15 said the previous government entered into an agreement with HPCL for setting up the complex and committed to give interest free annual loan of Rs 3,736 crore per annum for a period of 15 years.

She said that the former government offered such huge interest free loan; land and resources but the government will have only 26 per cent equity in the project hence, "we have reviewed this project. As per an appraisal report of this, the project will earn a profit more than Rs 68,000 crore.

"The (former) government committed an interest free loan Rs 56,000 crore in 15 years but the equity of state was kept only at 26 per cent. It has been an unusual package in which the money, land and resources were ours but ownership was not ours. We will renegotiate the project," she said at the state Assembly.

Later, at a press conference, Raje said that the decision of the former government was not viable hence the decision to renegotiate with the HPCL was taken up.

However, she said, that the government by announcing renegotiation was not intending to scarp the project, and it would be for a better deal in the interest of state and people.

The Chief Minister in the budget also announced introducing a new mining policy, review of existing mining policy for tribal area, mining lease for mining of Gypsum to farmers and industry by terminating the monopoly of PSUs, City Gas Distribution in various cities through Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation joint venture with GAIL.

Also, establishment of mother station for starting CNG supply to vehicles has been announced.

Terming the previous Congress government's decision on Jaipur Metro in haste without considering the viability, Raje in the budget also announced to complete Jaipur Metros phase 1-B from Chandpole to Badi Chaupad so that Phase I which is readied from Mansarovar to Chandpole could take off as per the schedule.

She while referring to experts' opinion said that the decision to introduce the scheme was taken (by the former government) in a hurry and told the house that running Metro rail will have additional burden of Rs 60-80 crore annually by running the train.

"The former government decided run metro train on just 12 long route with investment of Rs 3,400 crore. From economic point of view, metro rail project in Jaipur is not a good decision," she said.

She mentioned that the government showed unnecessary hurry also in procuring two trains in 2012 despite knowing that commercial operation on Chandpole to Badi Chaupad would only begin in 2018.

Rajasthan govt announces road development programmes

The Rajasthan government today announced to execute a road development programme covering all the state highways, major district roads and roads leading to tourists and religious destinations.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the Budget 2014-15 speech also announced to develop six roads of 1,000 km as East-West Corridor, establishment of Rajasthan State Highway Authority, output and performance based road contract system (OPRC system) for proper maintenance and development of one road in every Panchayat under 'Gramin Gaurav Path Scheme'.

The Chief Minister, who holds the Finance portfolio, announced that 530 villages with population of 250 to 499 would be connected by roads with assistance of World Bank.

Raje also announced to denationalised all the nationalised routes in phased manner to improve public transport system and facilities in towns and villages near such routes, establishment of Rajasthan State Bus Port Services Corporation to develop and manage bus-stands in an effective manner, provision of Rs 360 crore for providing equity to Rajasthan State Bus Port Services Corporation through RSRTC.

Monthly grants of Rs 10 crore to debt-ridden RSRTC on fulfilment of commitments under 'Reform Linked Agenda', establishment of 16 computerised border check posts and weigh bridges through PPP mode were among other announcements.

For the sector of urban infrastructure, Raje announced to merge RUIDP and RAVIL to form Rajasthan Urban Drinking Water, Sewerage and Infrastructure Corporation, sewerage and urban water management works in 6 districts of Pali, Tonk, Bhilwara, Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar and Jhunjhunu at an estimated cost Rs 2,160 crore.

She announced to introduce Rajasthan Town Planning and Urban Development Bill on the pattern of Gujarat for the development of cities, satellite towns, colonies and housing, Rajasthan Apartment Ownership Bill for giving rights regarding common area and facility use to purchaser of apartments, Rajasthan Urban Land (Certification of Title) Bill for maintenance of land records in the urban area and 'Heritage Conservation Bill' for the maintenance of heritage properties.

Convergence of various individual benefit schemes for BPL families under Swavlamban Yojna, special infrastructure package of Rs 1,000 crore for TSP, Rs 300 crore each for Mewat Area, Magra Scheme and Dang Area and Rs 500 crore for Devnarain Scheme were among other budget announcements for the rural infrastructure area.

She also announced construction of of new warehouses for storage of 3.10 LT capacity with Rs 150 crore from NABARD.

For improving social infrastructure, Raje earmarked Rs 276.42 crore the construction of 4850 new Aanganbadi buildings, repairing of 41,932 Aanganbadi buildings and upgradation of 611 Aanganbadi buildings.

She also announced to set up six hostels for the students belonging to SC and five for students of SC categories, strengthening of education and health infrastructure in 8 minority blocks under Minority Area Development Scheme, provision of Rs 58 crore for Madarsas.